Ireland to host 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Dublin and Belfast
University College Dublin, Queen's University Sport and Ulster's Kingspan Stadium to welcome world's top women's rugby stars
Ireland will host the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup after World Rugby awarded the rights to the Irish Rugby Football Union.
Following a successful 2014 tournament in Paris, Dublin and Belfast will host the next iteration of the prestigious tournament as England look to defend their title.
The awarding of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 to Ireland is great news for teams and fans as the sport continues to reach out and inspire new participants in our great game.
The pool stages of the tournament will be held at University College Dublin with Queen’s University Sport and Ulster’s Kingspan Stadium hosting the semi-finals, third-place play-off and final.
World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset believes that Ireland will be a popular choice with the teams and spectators.
“Women’s Rugby World Cup continues to go from strength to strength, proving a hit with fans, broadcasters and sponsors around the globe, with its compelling, competitive action and global profile,” Lapasset said.
“With impressive results on and off the field, the IRFU is a leader in driving forward the promotion and development of women’s rugby and the union’s passion, dedication and expertise in women’s rugby was reflected in an impressive and forward think.
“The awarding of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 to Ireland is great news for teams and fans as the sport continues to reach out and inspire new participants in our great game.
“I am sure that Dublin and Belfast will prove to be popular destinations.”
Ireland stunned four-time defending Women’s Rugby World Cup champions New Zealand in the pool stages in 2014 and backed up their impressive showing in the tournament by winning the RBS Women’s 6 Nations in March this year with four wins from their five matches.
It is an honour to represent your country in a World Cup, and the idea of representing your county on home turf is unbelievable.
Women’s rugby continues to be a success story with the last Women’s Rugby World Cup attracting capacity crowds and record broadcast audiences.
Stats from World Rugby show that there are now 1.7 million women and girls playing the sport – up 20 per cent on 2014, while there has been an increase in supporters and media coverage with rugby sevens set to become an Olympic sport in 2016.
IRFU chief executive Philip Browne admitted his delight that World Rugby had chosen Ireland to host the event after recent successes in England and France.
“We are delighted with today’s announcement that Irish Rugby will host the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup,” Browne said.
“Interest and participation in women’s rugby continues to grow, and building on this momentum we believe Ireland can deliver the best Women’s Rugby World Cup to-date.
“We hope that the growing interest in women’s rugby in Ireland, world leading facilities at UCD, Queen’s University Sport, Kingspan Stadium and our internationally recognised reputation for being one of the world’s most welcoming nations will make an exceptional event for the entire country.
“We would like to thank World Rugby for the opportunity to host this prestigious event and look forward to working closely with them to bring the tournament to these shores.”
Ireland Women’s captain Niamh Briggs added: “It is great news to hear Ireland has been successful in its bid to host the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
“It is an honour to represent your country in a World Cup, and the idea of representing your county on home turf is unbelievable.”